June 26, 1931

CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

It applied to assisted schemes of immigration.

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IND
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

No, it went further than that, but not so far as to stop immigration. We stopped-I do not want to be extravagant in my language-misrepresenting the conditions in Canada to the British people, and we did not encourage people to come here when they would be disappointed in the conditions they would meet when they arrived. Our labour market could not absorb them. That is

as far as we went. If they wanted to come they could come. I think the government adopted a proper course in notifying them, not that they were not welcome here, but that conditions were such that they probably would have great difficulty in getting employment. That is as far as we went.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

It is gratifying to hear the minister tell us that he stopped misrepresenting things. He was referring to the previous government?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I have not said that.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The minister said that he

thought it wise to stop misrepresenting things.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

There are other people besides the late government who were interested in getting immigrants.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Oh yes, we are well aware of them. This order in council must have been in fairly precise language. It was not a question of giving instructions to agents to ease off, but an order in council was passed, I understand, to stop all immigration. What did that order in council say?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I probably can remember the effect of it.

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IND
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I have not before me the dates of the orders in council, but I think I can remember the effect of the order in council. Under order in council P.C. 183 the following people were allowed into Canada:

(1) A bona fide agriculturist-

I do not know why they use the term "bona fide."

Mr. BF.AUBIEN: What is the date of that order in council?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

April 8, 1926. The classes

allowed in were as follows:

(1) A bona fide agriculturist entering Canada to farm and has sufficient means to begin farming in Canada.

(2) A bona fide farm labourer entering Canada to follow that occupation and has reasonable assurance of employment.

(3) A female domestic servant entering Canada to follow that occupation and has reasonable assurance of employment.

(4) The wife or child under 18 years of age of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada, who is in a position to receive and care for his dependents.

(5) Any United States citizen entering Canada from the United States who shall satisfy the immigration officer in charge at the port of entry that he has sufficient means to maintain himself until employment is secured.

(6) Any British subject entering Canada directly or indirectly from Great Britain or Ireland, Newfoundland, the United States of

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America. New Zealand, Australia or the Union of South Africa, who shall satisfy the immigration officer in charge at the port of entry that he has sufficient means to maintain himself until employment is secured:

Provided, that the only persons admissible under the authority of this clause are British subjects by reason of birth or naturalization in Great Britain or Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Australia or the Union of South Africa.

(7) A person who has satisfied the minister that his labour or service is required in Canada.

(8) The father or mother, the unmarried son or daughter, eighteen years of age or over, the unmarried brother or sister, of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada, who has satisfied the minister of his willingness and ability to receive and care for such relative;

Provided, that this clause shall not apply to the relative of any resident in Canada who himself failed to observe the conditions under which he was admitted to Canada.

That is the old order in council. If my recollection serves me aright-I speak subject to correction-in the new regulation class (1) is allowed in, but it is changed to read:

(1) An agriculturist entering Canada,

And so forth.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

August 14, 1930. I think this was changed not in the regulations itself, but was changed by a departmental circular to our agents in the various countries. The effect of the new regulation was that we admitted an agriculturist entering Canada to farm if he had sufficient money or funds to engage and continue in the business of farming. No specific sum was mentioned, but our officers were circularized in every instance and advised that they would be charged with the responsibility of inquiring into the background of each migrant coming to Canada to see that he knew something of agriculture, and that we were not admitting people from the cities who would be hopeless in an effort to run a farm. Personally I do not know anything about farming, but I am told, and I believe it to be true, that it requires a great deal of skill and considerable experience to run a farm properly, just now anyway.

The regulations with respect to class 2, dealing with farm labourers, and class 3, dealing with female domestic servants, were repealed. Class 4 was allowed to remain; that is the wife or child under eighteen years of age of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada, who is in a position to receive and care for his dependents. It was obvious that if a man has migrated to this country, had established himself and wanted to bring his wife and infant children here, he

should be allowed to do so, but in every case where an application is made by a man, from whatever country he may come, to bring his wife and children into Canada, I have given instructions, and I believe that they are being religiously adhered to, to inquire into what that man is doing and, if he is in industrial employment, to see whether or not his employment is likely to continue. If he is on a farm, investigations are made. At times it is difficult to be too restrictive with respect to such immigration, but I confess I am checking up with a degree of severity so that we shall not add to our present economic difficulties. The regulations with respect to the United States and Great Britain remain unchanged, with the exception that a subsequent order in council with respect to the United States excluded the people coming to Canada from that country who were not citizens of it. Before the order in council was put through many people could come in from the United States whose status in that countiy was such that if they became public charges in Canada we could not deport them back to the United States. Those people therefore were restricted by a subsequent order in council.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

What about the nationality

of the classes to which you wrere referring? Did they have to be British, or could they be alien?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

From the United States?

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IND
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The labourers and the

domestic servants are excluded, with the exception of the United States and Great Britain.

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IND
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Yes. Then the seventh

clause was repealed,-

A person who has satisfied the minister that his labour or service is required in Canada.

Rightly or wrongly I felt that that class would give me a great deal of anxiety, if I had the right to supersede the regulations by my own say-so. I am told that regulation No. 7 was the clause that gave rise to what was known as the permit system. I am not going to deal at length with that system, but to my mind it was probably as great a mistake as could have been made. I am told that at election .times, members are importuned by certain of their electors with regard to the issuance of permits to bring in relatives and friends, and that embarrassment results to the member if the requests are not complied with.

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June 26, 1931